But former head of French intelligence Bernard Squarcini sounded more surprised at the claims that the political class did not know about the snooping.
“I am amazed by such disconcerting naiveté. You’d almost think our politicians don’t bother to read the reports they get from the intelligence services,” he told French newspaper Le Figaro. “The Americans spy on French commercial and industrial interests, and we do the same to them because it’s in the national interest to protect our companies.”
American officials practically expect to be spied on by foes and friends alike, Kurt Volker, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, told Britain’s BBC Radio 4.
“I can’t believe anyone is terribly surprised. I mean, every government in the world tries to collect the best info that it can and that’s true of the German, American, British, French and countries all over the world,” he said. “I was government official for many years and I assumed my cellphone and my email account was susceptible to foreign intelligence services spying.”
On Wednesday, the US insisted it is not monitoring the communications of the chancellor of Germany – but that’s not the only country that feels they’ve been violated in the digital realm. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.